JIM OLD
by Stephen Webber Jim Old 'e wuz a Cornishman What lived nurr Mawgan Porth An' in the murky month of March Old, Jim, 'e sallied forth. The reason that 'e sallied thus My duty 'tis to tell An' sadly now I must relate 'is daughter wuz not well. The night afore the fatal day Of which I 'ave ter speak Jim's lovin' spouse said to 'er dear "The maid is gettin' weak: 'Er 'as bin coffin' fit ter bust - It 'as me all a-twitch - An' when 'er isn't coffin' Like a whitnick 'er duz scritch." Now Jim wuz settin' nex' the clome Awaitin' 'is repast - A freshly-baked Star-gazey pie - Wot makes the brains act fast. Said Jim, "Me dear, I sees yer plight: The cheal mus' meet no 'arm - A wantskin jacket 'er must 'ave - A-fur ter keep 'er warum." Now Jim believed in deeds, not words, "'Tis 'ansum, Boss" 'e said An' quickly gollopped all 'is pie An' climbed upsters ter bed. 'E clambered up the wooden 'ill But drecklv 'twas the dawn Jim rose an' took 'is wanting 'ook An' strode toward Bosoughan. An' ther all day, with 'ook in 'and, The want'ills 'e did scowd But ne'er a want did Jim perceive An' so 'e cursed out loud: "O, woe is me - no wants I see: They 'ears me as I come - They pilchards in that bally pie - 'ems rumblin' in me tum." Mazed as a brush, Jim coosed all day In shower an' sleet an' storm, But all in vain did 'e complain The wants - 'em all were gorn! So, leery an' dejected, 'e With troubles wuz beset An' tho' the wants no doubt kep' dry, Poor Jim wuz leakin' wet. On Shank's pony 'e returned: 'Is wife said "Where's the stuff?" Jim wuz not altogether pleased An' answered "Wish't enuff!" "No matter," said 'is spouse at once, "The maid will not expire: 'Tis proper job - she set all day In yer cher nex' the fire." Jim's wife showed great resourcefulness An' noticed James's wrath: 'Er packed 'im quickly orf ter bed With bowl of kittley broth. I'm glad ter say 'e soon got well An' soon as 'e were able 'E bought the maid a comely coat - A man-made-fibre sable. May all folk heed this moral, from Mountjoy to Lady Nance: Do never eat Star-gazey pie Afore yer coose the wants. But if yer duz like Jim of 0ld Ye'll ne'er a want espy An' twenty thousand underground Will know the reason why. divider GLOSSARY FOR FURRINERS Whitnick: A weasel Scritch: To scream Clome: A wall-oven Star-Gazey Pie: A Cornish speciality of whole pilchards and hard-boiled eggs: the fish heads stick up out of the pie-crust Cheal: A girl-child 'Tis 'ansum: Expression of approval Want: (rhymes with 'pant') A mole To scowd the want'ills: To put the boot into molehills Dreckly: A useful word of varied meaning e.g.: Now, sometime, 'if I get around to it' Mazed as a brush: A trifle put out To coose: To chase or hunt Leaking wet: A trifle damp Wish't enuff: A response implying that all is not well Proper job: A good thing Kittley broth: Another speciality: bread with butter and/or clotted cream, drenched in hot water and salted. Bosoughan : (rhymes with 'dawn') A hamlet near Newquay Mountjoy: A hamlet near Bosoughan Lady Nance: Four cottages and a contaminated wishing-well, just across the fields from Mountjoy
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